“By munching on any fruit containing this crucial
vitamin, your skin will look and feel better,” she noted.
According to Dr. Peredo, vitamin C works to neutralize skin to fight inflammation and redness. It also
works to produce collagen, which plays into the healthy
structure of one’s face.
“You’ll find that a lot of skin care products contain
vitamin C because of its power to nurture the skin,”
Dr. Peredo has an array of foods she advises her
patients to avoid due to the deleterious effects that
they have on skin. Specific foods to avoid include caffeine, which can lead to over-drying of the skin as well
as breakouts and wrinkles; junk food, which can clog
pores and lead to breakouts and uneven skin texture.
And, of course, soft drinks, which have come under attack in recent months for causing the obesity epidemic
in the U.S.
“The amount of sugar these drinks contain can
cause a number of skin issue such as signs of aging and
acne,” she said.
Dr. Peredo also tells her patients to cut back on
highly processed food, sugar filled junk food and concentrate on eating natural foods containing vitamins,
minerals and omega 3 fatty acids.
Another Point of View
But not all dermatologists place a heavy emphasis on the
nutrition-healthy skin link. According to Eric Schweiger, a
New York City-based dermatologist, while a general healthy,
well-balanced diet, especially one low in sugars and fats, is
beneficial to one’s skin, there is no one “magic food” that
makes patients look great.
“I recommend a balanced diet to my patients,” said
Dr. Schweiger. “For one’s complexion, it is definitely
more important what your are putting on your skin
than into your stomach!”
He noted that skin care regimens are usually tailored
to each individual patient to treat specific concerns.
“In general I like to recommend protecting your
skin in the morning with the use of a daily moisturizer
with SPF—SPF 30 is usually adequate. Make sure it is
“broad spectrum” so it covers both UVA and UVB,” said
At night, he recommends focusing on anti-aging by
using an evening moisturizer that includes antioxidants and retinoids.
“Hydrating the skin is essential, therefore a morning and evening wash that is not over drying is important,” said Dr. Schweiger. “Gentle cleansers such as
Cetaphil or CeraVe are great. Neutrogena has a great
foaming cleanser for removal of makeup.”
As for products to avoid, Dr. Schweiger said that
patients with dry skin should stay away from drying agents such as salicylic acid, while patients with
oily-acne prone skin should avoid heavy emulsion-like
creams or products that contain lipids or oil-based ingredients that can occlude the pores.
Dr. Peredo agreed “Acne is caused by over-produc-tion of oil in your oil glands, so it’s best to stay away
from adding more oil on top of your skin. It will just
seep through and then acne will begin to show.”
Water, Water Everywhere
Of course, man (nor woman) does not live by bread
alone. Next to the air we breathe, water is the most crucial part of our diets. No one has promoted the health
benefits of water more than Dr. Murad, who’s book “The
Water Secret,” highlights the links between health and
Dr. Murad goes a step further, however, urging patients to eat, rather than drink, their water.
“As a general rule, raw fruits and vegetables are the
best sources of water,” he insisted.
In a pilot study, the Murad team found that people
who eat more fruits and vegetables along with one or
two glass of water a day will be more hydrated than
someone who drinks eight or 10 glasses of water a day.
He noted that acne is inflammatory, so raw fruits and
vegetables (which are loaded with vitamin A), help normalize skin.
“A reduction in cellular water is a primary cause
of aging and disease,” insisted Dr. Murad. “Consumers
have a tendency to eat sweet or salty processed foods
that are pro-inflammatory to our cell membranes.”
Dr. Graf said water intake plays an essential role in
healthy skin. She called it the most important “alka-
linizer” and noted that the body requires water for its
basic function as transportation of nutrients as well as
flushing out waste products.
“Hydration is essential for health and one of the
ways we can assess dehydration is by looking at
skin turgor,” she said. “Chronic dehydration goes
hand in hand with increasing acidity of the body and
In the end, most experts agree that nutrition plays
a key role in healthy skin. By practicing good nutrition,
consumers are able to improve their skin from the in-
side out, not just on the surface.
“If you are eating well, the nutrients will work on
the inside to produce a better you on the outside,” noted
Dr. Peredo. “Skin care products only help what is on
the surface. We need to get to the bottom of skin care
issues, which are deeply rooted within our bodies.” n